The companies are exploring the potential for deployment of 5 additional Natrium reactors
BELLEVUE, Washington – October 27, 2022 – TerraPower, a nuclear innovation company, and PacifiCorp, a regulated utility, announced today their undertaking of a joint study to evaluate the feasibility of deploying up to five additional Natrium1 reactor and integrated energy storage systems in the PacifiCorp service territory by 2035.
1 Natrium reactor is a TerraPower and GE Hitachi technology
PacifiCorp and TerraPower announced last year their plans to bring the Natrium demonstration plant to Kemmerer, Wyoming, where a PacifiCorp coal-fueled power plant is slated for retirement. The companies’ combined commitment to providing carbon-free energy solutions, while maintaining grid reliability and integrating baseload power that can support intermittent energy resources, make the Natrium technology ideal for deployment across PacifiCorp’s system.
“This joint study is a significant step toward building the energy grid of the future for PacifiCorp’s customers and a tangible example of the promise advanced nuclear brings to utilities serious about leading the nation’s energy transition,” said TerraPower President and CEO Chris Levesque. “We have been impressed and humbled by our work with the Kemmerer community and PacifiCorp. We look forward to evaluating new potential sites for Natrium plants that have the same energy expertise and capabilities as our demonstration site.”
“The study will allow us to explore a carbon-free, dispatchable energy resource that could provide reliable power to our customers,” said Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp. “This is just a first step, as advanced nuclear power needs to be evaluated through our resource planning processes as well as receive regulatory approval. But it’s an exciting opportunity that advances us down the path to a net zero energy future.”
By working together on the Natrium demonstration plant and jointly studying the feasibility of adding up to five additional commercial units by 2035, TerraPower and PacifiCorp seek to identify opportunities to reduce cost for PacifiCorp’s customers and more broadly deploy advanced Natrium reactors.
The joint study will evaluate, among other things, the potential for advanced reactors to be located near current fossil-fueled generation sites, enabling PacifiCorp to repurpose existing generation and transmission assets for the benefit of its customers. The location of future Natrium plants will be thoroughly explored through this study process, and both companies will engage with local communities before any final sites are selected.
Congress and the Department of Energy under the Biden Administration have taken proactive steps to continue to support the deployment of advanced nuclear technologies as part of a suite of solutions aimed at achieving carbon-free goals. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and recent studies on the opportunities of a coal-to-nuclear energy transition, the role for advanced nuclear is clear. TerraPower and PacifiCorp remain committed to bringing the Natrium technology to market and providing reliability and stability to the grid as well as to energy producing communities. “The Sweetwater Economic Development Coalition is excited to hear that there are more opportunities opening up for Wyoming. Our Coalition is looking forward to working with the team who will be conducting the research for this study.” Said Economic Development Specialist Kayla McDonald.